Sick days and short stories:

So what promised to be a week of steady progress turned into a battle with sore throats, fevers, and smashing headaches. Felt like I’d been pushed off a cliff and then run over by a truck. Translation: I am far short of meeting my writing quota for this week.

Considering all else that is transpiring in the world, though, I am grateful that all I’ve had to grapple with is a passing illness. It’s hard to lose momentum on a story, but there are worse things. One needn’t scroll too far down CNN’s home page to find them, these days.

Tonight is my first opportunity to return to writing since Monday. Zoe & Blake, main characters of current WIP, were last seen feeling distrustful of one another. Who wouldn’t? Zoe’s a hotheaded loose cannon; Blake hid the truth about her parents’ deaths for more than a decade. So, while they’re circling each other, they’re also teaming up to find Zoe’s missing baby bro (well, he’s a college student, but to her, he’s a baby). And they’re about to find out how deep shit’s really gonna get. A hard rain is a-gonna fall.

On a completely random note, I had one of those moments last weekend in which a short story just sort of, uh, came out of nowhere. Don’t remember where I was, but the opening line popped into my head. I always give those new ideas a few minutes of space before I tuck them away and get on with my current WIP. But once I sat down to give this story its five minutes, it wouldn’t quit. A couple hours later, I’m staring at a completed first draft of a short story about a fallen angel. Who would’ve thunk it? The tone is different from what I’ve been writing lately; it’s softer and more internal, more like some of my older stuff. I think it works for the characters and the piece. And, even with a shorter piece like this one, I can see the difference in the stuff I’m writing now versus what I was writing a few years ago. My sense of plot and structure is especially stronger. I’m hoping to play with this story and find an outlet for it.  I’m glad I took a break from my “regularly scheduled” writing routine to let this one flow.

I wish there were more avenues for short-story publishing than there seem to be. A few of the publishers I’ve found are strangely torn between longer than 10,000 or 12,000 words or shorter than 1,500. A lot of my short stories tend to fall somewhere in the middle; this one is about 3,500-4,000. I’ve really just started looking, but I’d like to dig into finding outlets for sharing my shorter stuff while working on longer pieces. It will be nice to have some shorter works to shop around while finishing up this novel.

Well, my real-life Angel (my lovely little beagle) is in need of a walk, and I’m in need of a bowl of hot soup, so I’m off, and then it’s back to the page for me. Take care all!

4 thoughts on “Sick days and short stories:

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell. Hope you’re all better now and that you can get cracking on your writing again. My RSI is still playing me up and is really slowing me down. I was planning a day of writing today though, so I’m going to try to ignore it as best I can and take painkillers later!

    • Mostly better, thanks. Hopefully I can get a solid chunk of writing done this afternoon. The weather here is so nice, I might even be able to sit out on the balcony with a cup of tea and my laptop while I work. I hope your RSI doesn’t get in your way today either! Good luck. 🙂

  2. I’m sorry that you’ve been so sick. I hope you’ve made a great deal of writing progress and are further on your way with the WIP.
    (((Healing Vibes)))

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